By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - A 23-year-old man who shot a Temple police officer in 2009 was sentenced to 80 years in prison Wednesday.
Jaquinn Keith Williams was charged with attempted capital murder. Williams shot Temple officer Marlon Reed in the arm and hip during a raid of Williams' apartment April 3, 2009.
Williams was a known marijuana dealer. During the raid, police found more than 2 pounds of marijuana. Williams also has been convicted of federal drug charges, lawyers said Wednesday.
More than 20 officers from the Temple Police Department packed the 27th District Court during the hearing.
After Judge Joe Carroll, who could have sentenced Williams to 99 years in prison, pronounced sentence, an emotional Reed hugged his wife and fellow officers outside the courtroom.
Williams was fingerprinted and led back into Bell County Jail, where he will remain until transferred to a state correctional facility.
"I hope you figure out what you need to do in life," Reed said to Williams after he was sentenced. "I'll tell you that I forgive you because I'm a strong man."
Reed testified he suffered permanent damage to his arm as a result of one gunshot wound. A nerve in his right forearm was severed, requiring surgery and months of physical therapy. Reed had to re-learn several activities that required the use of his right arm.
Reed said he has learned how to fire a weapon with his left hand; however, he no longer can participate in some of the athletic activities he enjoyed before Williams shot him. Reed was the lead officer in the raid of Williams' apartment in the 3500 block of Southwest H.K. Dodgen Loop in Temple. As soon as he entered, Williams shot him twice.
Reed told the court he vaguely remembered returning fire before officers dragged him from the apartment.
During the gunfight, Williams was shot three times.
Defense attorney David Fernandez called Williams' longtime friend Kyle Schoepf to the stand as a character witness. Schoepf told the court Williams had been a good kid, but he became involved in drug dealing after dropping out of school.
Williams did not have strong parental figures in his life, which Schoepf told the court may have contributed to his continued run-ins with police in connection with marijuana charges.
Fernandez said Williams' family situation was not "an excuse, but an explanation" of his behavior. Prosecutor Nelson Barnes said his family situation did not matter.
"We have to yell it loud, and we have to yell it wide: If you're going to shoot at a police officer, we're going to send you away for as long as we can," Barnes said during closing arguments.
Contact Philip Jankowski at email@example.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.